Elegy


Attributed to Mikhail Vyssotsky (1791-1837)

 



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Introduced by Matanya Ophee

Move over Spanish Romance, Jeux Interdix or whatever you want to call yourself. This Elegy is the ultimate, unequivocal and final replacement to a piece of seductive guitar music which overstayed its welcome a couple of generations ago. Enough is enough and now it is time for a fresh candidate. Soulful, melancholy, with just the right touch of sentimental debauchery and fairly easy to play. It is Russian in origin and I found it while searching for material for the next volume of the Russian Collection, now in its final stages of preparation. Many Russian guitarists now play this piece. I am particularly indebted to young Vladimir Markushevich, an up and coming virtuoso of the seven-string guitar, for acquainting me with it.

It is a good question if the composer is indeed the early nineteenth century master Mikhail Vyssotsky. Volume VII of the Russian Collection includes several pieces by him. I have in my private collection the majority of his known works, and quite a few which are not well-known. This was not his style. In all probability, the composer was someone who worked in the tradition of popular music current in the Soviet Union in the years of the Second World War. It more fits the temperament of people like Soloviov-Sedoi, Dunaevsky, Mokrousov and others of their ilk. If only I knew this piece way back then, when lollipops like this were the mainstay of my youthful follies. As they say in Russian: ENDZHOITE!

 


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Last Modified: Friday, June 20, 1997